Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Concerned Women for America seems very confused

On NPR this morning, there was a story -- news so it was during the news break and didn't take the place of the soft nonsense offered by the 'magazine' Morning Edition -- about the FDA making Plan B available for purchase at pharmacies by all females over the age of 15 (the females have to be able to afford the morning after pill and have photo i.d. -- not a given on either).  The FDA announced the move yesterday:

 The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today announced that it has approved an amended application submitted by Teva Women’s Health, Inc. to market Plan B One-Step (active ingredient levonorgestrel) for use without a prescription by women 15 years of age and older.

After the FDA did not approve Teva’s application to make Plan B One-Step available over-the-counter for all females of reproductive age in December 2011, the company submitted an amended application to make the product available for women 15 years of age and older without a prescription.

The product will now be labeled “not for sale to those under 15 years of age *proof of age required* not for sale where age cannot be verified.” Plan B One-Step will be packaged with a product code prompting a cashier to request and verify the customer’s age. A customer who cannot provide age verification will not be able to purchase the product. In addition, Teva has arranged to have a security tag placed on all product cartons to prevent theft.

In addition, Teva will make the product available in retail outlets with an onsite pharmacy, where it generally, will be available in the family planning or female health aisles. The product will be available for sale during the retailer’s normal operating hours whether the pharmacy is open or not.

Plan B One-Step is an emergency contraceptive intended to reduce the possibility of pregnancy following unprotected sexual intercourse – if another form of birth control (e.g., condom) was not used or failed. Plan B One-Step is a single-dose pill (1.5 mg tablet) that is most effective in decreasing the possibility of unwanted pregnancy if taken immediately or within 3 days after unprotected sexual intercourse.

Plan B One-Step will not stop a pregnancy when a woman is already pregnant, and there is no medical evidence that the product will harm a developing fetus.

That should be clear enough.  Unless you're with Concerned Women for America.

As a rule, I don't make it a point to pick on conservative women.  I'm never surprised that they have a different view point that I do.  (I'm a feminist.) You won't find me offering partisan posts where I attack women just because they're conservative.  I'm not interested in that.  We defended Sarah Palin against sexism.  I don't go after conservative women for sport.

But I'm no fan of stupidity.

The fact that you disagree with me about Plan B doesn't make you stupid.

What does?

Being quoted by NPR stating, "It makes no sense that kids need parental permission to take aspirin at school, but they're free to buy and administer Plan B."

That makes you stupid.  And I'm labeling the entire organization stupid because it's from Penny Nance who is Concerned Women for America's president and CEO.

(If you're a CWA who feels like Nance's stupidity looks bad on you, my sympathies.  Kim Gandy became a joke at NOW so I do know how it is to embarrassed by one's own leaders.)

Schools are not going to buy or sell or administer Plan B.

If they do, they will require a consent form as they do for any medical product -- including aspirin -- to avoid liability issues.

If you want to make an argument about what pharmacies are selling to 15-year-olds, you need to compare it to a product that pharmacies won't sell to 15-year-olds.

In other words, Nance, you're an idiot who should be laughed at for issuing a prepared statement that made such a ridiculous comparison.

Second issue, Ty, Rebecca and I are working on something.   On Saturday, check here in my last entry before visiting Third Estate Sunday Review the next day.


Third may not be work safe.  We're working on a story about censorship based on political content and the censorer is attempting to claim that it's over something else.  We've got visuals demonstrating that the policy they're trying to use to justify censorship is not one that they really enforce.  Visuals are graphic nudes.

 Rebecca's offering to run them at her site where she makes no claim to be work safe.  That's fine and if she wants to run with this, I will gladly hand her all the e-mails and notes I have.  But I'm with Ty on this being a time at Third when we should seriously consider running these photos because political speech is being censored and they're trying to claim that's it not about political speech when it is.

If the story does end up with Third, I will give a heads up here Saturday night so that those who use work computers do not get in trouble for visiting a site that would not be work safe.

Let's wrap this up by noting Deanna Durbin passed away.  The film star was very popular.  Ava and I found out just how popular a few years ago at Third.  We dubbed programs like Alias that starred a strong woman and featured no other woman in major roles or ones that had a strong woman and an unlikable woman for her to spark off of (in a cast filled with men) the Deanna Durbin 100 Men and a Girl syndrome after Durbin's film 100 Men and a Girl.  Think, for example, about how many men were on 30 Rock and how few women.  The final season's regular characters were: Lutz, Tracy, Kenneth, Pete, Jack, Toofer Frank,, Grizz, Jonathan, Dennis, Devon and Criss.  They were all men.  And you had Liz, Jenna and Cerie for the female characters. 

Whenever we used that term (the Deanna Durbin 100 Men and a Girl syndrome), it always resulted in massive e-mails making very clear that Deanna may have stopped making films in the 40s but her fan base continued to grow.

Durbin and Judy Garland were both at MGM as children.  The DVD of For Me and My Gal should contain "Every Sunday."  That's a film short.  I don't have time to watch extras on DVD -- and that's been for the last decade.  The videotape of For Me and My Gal (Judy Garland and Gene Kelly) did contain the MGM short. 

When both were young females at MGM, Judy was considered a jazz singer, Durbin a classical singer.  The studio didn't need two child stars, some argued, and while that was pondered Durbin ended up signing with Universal where she found stardom.

NPR wrongly stated Durbin was considered for the role of Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz.  Wrong.  That was a costly MGM musical.  Shirley Temple was briefly considered for the role but only briefly and Mayer's argument against Temple was why should MGM spend so much money to build up a star signed to another studio?

What NPR probably meant to say was Deanna Durbin almost sang Snow White in the Walt Disney feature film but her voice was judged too old.

Snow White's a good reference point.  If you watch it with children, they'll wonder about that singing by Snow.  It's alien to them today because it wasn't a natural singing.

Deanna Durbin's image faded because she was part of an artifical singing style.  She probably had twenty five more notes than Judy Garland did but Judy was a natural singer and part of the 20th century.  Deanna's singing -- like that of Jeanette McDonald -- was popular in the early part of the 20th century when it was still considered cultured (a left over from the 19th century) but no one sings like that in popular music today -- nor would they want to. 

WWII accelerated many things including freedom and changing social mores so although she started the forties as a huge box office star, by 1944, those days were over. (People who wrongly cite all the money she will make in the next years fail to grasp that this was the studio system.  You were signed to a longterm contract.  You got a bump each year of your contract.  Meaning the big pay days of 1946, for example, resulted from her manager negotiating for a yearly bump back when that contract was originally negotiated.)  In 1945, she tried to change her image.  One of the films she made was Lady on a Train which is considered a film noir comedy.  Whatever you call it, it's a shame it wasn't a hit because she's at her most natural in the film and really does give a fine performance.

For those who like faux operettas, they can check out any of Deanna's musicals.  As a curio they may have a lasting impact.  But for most of us, the idea that people will sing with one voice and speak with another is an artifice of a bygone time.

David Gritten (Telegraph of London) notes:

But in contrast to Temple, who had an array of precocious, remarkable talents (almost to the point of creepiness), Durbin had a narrow range. She could certainly play nice, uncomplicated young women, but in truth she never looked like a great actress in the making.

I would again stress Lady on a Train.  Few actors can remain leads for decades.  The adage is you've got 7 years on and 7 years off.  Hang around and then you'll be back in style. In addition to having been overly familiar to audiences at that point (and that was a traumatic time -- Deanna or Betty cheers you at the movie theater while your dad's off in the war, for example, might bring up feelings you don't want to remember when the war's over), Deanna was also a child star trying to cross over into adult roles.  Natalie Wood and Elizabeth Taylor did it beautifully.  But they are the exceptions.  Margaret O'Brien, Shirley Temple, Deanna Durbin and many others were far less lucky.  Those were two things Deanna was dealing with a third would be that you were either a very strong woman (Bette Davis) onscreen or you were the girl.  The strong women were being pushed off the screen for the most part as the 40s wore on -- Barbara Stanwyck and Susan Hayward being notable exceptions.  However, this period will find Barbara playing reporters but they aren't the smart and likeable female reporters of Christmas in Connecticut or Meet John Doe.  Instead they're reporters like Crime of Passion's Kathy Ferguson who is successful but when she falls in love with and marries police officer Bill Doyle, she becomes a murderer, even willing to kill her husband's boss (Raymond Burr) if he won't give her husband a promotion.

Deanna was trying to mature at a very difficult time for actresses.  I really do think she gave a genuine performance in Lady on a Train and that it's the most natural one she ever gave and an indication that with a few lucky breaks she could have continued as a leading lady (but not as a leading star because women were disappearing).

I'm not reading any other obit than Grittin's.  If you're looking for obits, I would recommend the British press.  They understand American signing stars better.  The American press really doesn't have process of sharing history -- with each generation --  on musicals in that manner.  (As evidenced by the review of any 'amazing' musical -- that's really a turkey -- that the press falls for in this country.)  The British press has an understanding of yesterday that's absent in the American press so go to British newspapers over American newspapers if you're trying to understand and appreciate Durbin.  I would be curious about Empire magazine and whether they're going to weigh in.  You can also look, in any country, for Deanna fan sites -- I'm sure there are many -- where her fans are sharing their own memories.  Again, she stopped making films decades ago, but her fan base is legendary as Ava and I found out.

Another site to check?  Susan's On the Edge.  She's a movie buff with a lot of knowledge.  I'm sure she'll post something today on the passing.

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